International Summer School in Refugee Law and Rights

About the school

Due to recent Russian Federation's aggression on Ukraine and the ongoing war with massive scale displacement of civilians, our 9th International Summer School in Refugee Law and Rights will be donated to V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine and transformed into the Aurora Alliance Capacity Development Support Programme summer school entitled War-displaced Persons’ Protection Rights - Case study Ukraine. It will be co-organized between V. N Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine and Palacký University Olomouc in Czech Republic.  The school will be hosted in exile by Palacký University Olomouc and offer a 10-day hybrid training programme, possible to attend both in-person and/or online.

This summer school is a legacy of the late OBE, Professor Barbara Harell-Bond, University of Oxford, initiated with Dr. Selma Porobić in 2011 in Sarajevo, as pioneering academic refugee law training for the humanitarians. The school brings together leading academics and practitioners focusing both theoretical and practical aspects of the legal protection of war-displaced populations, with an aim to proactively contribute to its advancement through their future carriers in academia, UN, governmental and non-governmental organizations, media and other sectors of work. The principal aim is to advance the skills for protection by exchanging and building expert and cooperation network in responding to the current challenges of the war-displaced persons’ in accessing their protection rights.


  • When: August, 15th – 25th, 2022
  • Registration deadline: June 15st
  • Credits: 3 ECTS
  • School fee: 400 EUR (*donation contribution)

Organiser: Aurora Alliance Office and Faculty of Law, Palacký University Olomouc with International Office, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv University.


The school is open to students from all academic disciplines and professionals from different backgrounds. Our participants typically include students of peace and conflict studies and/or human rights and refugee studies, but also scholars and researchers working directly on forced migration issues and staff from international humanitarian organizations, as well as local refugee, human rights and humanitarian NGOs. Over the years we have also welcomed numerous government officials working on prevention of war and mass displacement as well as practicing lawyers, journalists and activists, working with human rights.

Learning environment

The Summer School employs an interactive learning environment using a combination of lectures, documentary films, debates and open discussions, enabling participants both to contribute to and gain an in-depth knowledge of legal frameworks and procedures for accessing refugee/IDP rights in practice. Instructors are experienced and committed scholars, practitioners and activists in the field and bring a comparative and locally focused perspective to the international protection debate. For the ONLINE participation in the course we use university licensed MS Teams platform with exclusive access to combination of live streaming classes and instructions, self-study assignments, interactive online seminars and group work interactions during the the school.

The hybrid format this year will allow for combination of interactions between participants online and in-person with dedicated workshop and group work assignments.

Contents and training

This year’s summer school is fully adapted to focus on mass displacement and protection of civilians affected by developing war situation in Ukraine. Besides the introduction to the general International Humanitarian Law, Refugee Law and Human Rights Law, we will also focus on the European Asylum Law and Temporary Protection Directive as well as Ukrainian refugee protection and rights in the neighboring reception countries of the Central-Eastern Europe. In addition we will look into protection of internally displaced persons in Ukraine and vulnerable categories. The school will be co-thought by international experts together with professors from Faculty of Law at Palacký University Olomouc  and  V.N Karazin Kharkiv National university in Ukraine (online from Ukraine and from exile).


The training programme this year will cover the following modules: 

I - General part (Day 1-2)

  • Assessment of 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol
  • UNHCR Guidelines on the Application in Mass Influx situations of the Exclusion Clauses 
  • International Humanitarian law - Human Rights law - Refugee Law Intersection
  • The Ethics of International Refugee Law
  • Prevention of arbitrary displacement in situations of armed conflict and generalized violence
  • Internally Displaced Persons’ Rights to Protection

II - Regional focus / Europe and Ukraine Mass Displacement Response (Day 3-4)

  • Legal Framework for EU Refugee Responses and the Changing Paradigm of EU Asylum Law
  • The Temporary Protection Directive and Refugee Rights
  • Refugee Reception and Integration Rights –Central-eastern Europe

III - Case Study focus  – Ukraine and Humanitarian Emergency Responses  (Day 5-7) 

  • Displacement as Humanitarian Emergency: Preparedness, Protection and Coordination of Aid Delivery to Ukrainians
  • Health in Emergencies: Medical Care and Mental Health Protection of Displaced and Humanitarians: Needs Assessment and Provision of care for Ukrainian IDPs and Refugees
  • Vulnerable categories and Persons with Disabilities in the Context of Internal Displacement

IV- Peace-building and Durable solutions  (Day 8-9)

  • Rights-based return of war-displaced: safe return, resettlement or local integration
  • “Implementing Pinheiro Principles" - Handbook on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Person
  • Humanitarian-Development-Peacebuilding Nexus: Prospects for Peace Building, Return, Recovery and Post-war Reconstruction in Ukraine

Special Evening events:

The official programme is supported with various thematic evening events including film screenings and joint discussions and live field-work reporting and Q&A sessions. 

Leisure time, excursions and networking events are included in the school programme.


V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University:

  • Oleksandr Khyzhniak, Doctor of Sociological Sciences, Professor, Head of International Relation Office, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
  • Galyna Kravchenkova, PhD in Sociology, Associate Professor, Applied Sociology and Social Communication Department, School of Sociology, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, GO “Ukrainian expert league”
  • Iryna Soldatenko, PhD in Sociology, Associate Professor, Applied Sociology and Social Communication Department, School of Sociology, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
  • Valeriy Reznikov, PhD in International Economy, Associate Professor, Dean of the School of International Economic Relations and Travel Business, School of International Economic Relations and Travel Business, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
  • Olena Muradyan, PhD in Sociology, Associate Professor, Dean of the School of Sociology, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

International experts:

  • Judith Tóth, PhD, Dr jur.  Associate Professor of Constitutional law and chair of the Department of Constitutional Law in Hungary, Faculty of Law, University of Szeged.
  • Eva Bouzas Garcia, Senior Inter-Agency Coordination Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva
  • Marko Szilveszter Macskovich, PhD, Registration and Management Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ethiopia
  • Cagatay Sarp, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Kirikkale University, Turkey

Aurora and Palacký University Olomouc:

  • Maxim Tomoszek, PhD, Dr jur. Assitant professor of cosntituional law,Faculty of Law, Palacký University Olomouc
  • Selma Porobić, PhD, Aurora Alliance Capacity Development Support Programme, Palacký University Olomouc, Associate Researcher, University College London,UK
  • Other invited guest lecturers from Aurora Alliance universities, Ukrainian and regional NGOs

How to apply

We invite you to register by sending the completed Application form together with the Motivation letterCV (2 pages) to before the 15st of June, 2022.


  • 400 EUR 

Admission fee covers the full school program with materials, catering (lunches, coffee/tea breaks and snacks), supervision and tutoring, special evening events and any outdoors activities during the 10-days programme. 

Besides organisational costs, all the school profits are part of ongoing Aurora Alliance fundraising for V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University.

For German students there is a scholarship fee available for this school through DAAD funding that V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University obtained in 2019. For information and application to the school and scholarship please register no later than 31th May on Karazin’s website.

For Aurora Alliance students, contact your local Aurora offices for information about student mobility funds to attend the school after your successful school application, registration and letter of acceptance.

Evaluation and awards

Evaluation consists of the in-class discussion and assignments, based on instructions received on the first day of the school and a guided group work. Upon successful completion of the school the participants are awarded with 3 ECTS points and the Graduate Participant Diploma from the V.N Karazin Kharkiv University and Palacký University Olomouc as well as Aurora European Universities Alliance Certificate of attendance.

About Olomouc

Olomouc is a beautiful university city with rich history that is definitely worth seeing.

Click here to read more about it.

Click here to take a virtual walk through Olomouc!

Frequently asked questions

Is it advisable to have some background knowledge in international law?

Understanding of human rights, background in social sciences and any experience of work with asylum seekers and refugees or research on asylum and migration issues is advisable.

Will the summer course primarily deal with law in the specific countries of the EU?

The focus of the summer school is on the international law protecting war-displaced persons in their own country and when crossing the international borders. The specific focus is placed on the application of the displaced persons’ rights in the current situation of war and mass displacement resultant from the Russian Federation’s aggression and war in Ukraine. We will assess the EU’s regional response to war-displacement in this case as both humanitarian emergency, human rights crises and protection situation under EU’s legal framework for mass influx of refugees. This section will entail focusing on Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic as countries with largest Ukrainian refugee populations in EU right now. Second part will also look into the health care and vulnerable populations’ needs as well as durable solutions and rights-based return and reparations for the war-displaced.

Is the school programme primarily focused on the law and legal protection issues or also on the consequences/social dimensions and practices of law?

The application of the law itself in practice is strongly connected with the social dimension and consequences that those practices imply. Understanding asylum policies and applied practices involves also political, economic, cultural and psycho-social context of forced migrants. To learn more from the previous schools and participants’ experiences have a look at the concluding reports and comments on the following links:



What will be the admission criteria? Are they stringent?

Admission criteria involve the Motivation Letter acknowledging the experience and interests in the forced migration field and your CV. There is a registration quota of 30 students, which we consider an ideal number of participants for the interactive learning at the school. Generally, we look for the diversity in participants’ educational and experience/practice backgrounds in order to have constructive and productive exchange between the participants during and after the school.

Is it correct that you get 3 ECTS for this school and a Certificate of Participation?

Participation in the school brings you 3 ECTS points and details of assessment will be introduced at the first day of the school when all the tutors will be assigned to each group. We focus on the team work and presentations throughout the school as well as group discussions as a proof of acquired knowledge and engagement on the school.  

If I apply, how long does it approximately take to know if I can participate?

We will respond to your application within two weeks from submission.

Student comments & references

Guillermo Beccaría (international relations student, Belgium)

What I experienced in Olomouc during the 10 days of the ISS was just UNBELIEVABLE. I have no words to describe it. I was expecting to learn about refugees and the laws that protect them, but instead I learned about life and its meaning. I understood the significance of the “being pasionate” in a lot of aspects, and how to be it too! You have to feel it! I guess that passion of the lectures of the ISS was undoubtedly inherited from the profesor Barbara Harell-Bond. I will always be gratefull for getting that feeling too, even if it was for that small amount of time.

Ana Kozina (law student, Croatia)

I came to school with just basic knowledge of the subject, and that was mostly from the EU perspective. In 10 intensive days, I learned so much from interesting, knowledgeable lecturers with expertise and experience, who, above everything, were passionate about transferring us knowledge and skills that one day we may be the ones who can use it in our respective fields of work to be of help to those who need it. Diversity of participants, who were of law, social work, anthropological or international political background, equally students and practitioners, ensured variety of ideas, views and possible solutions to a problem to be heard. One day simulation of a refugee crisis was for all of us interesting, challenging and inspiring experience. All the members of the organizational board and volunteers were open to any of our questions, helpful and friendly. I am sure that from all my comments you can guess that I wholeheartedly recommend ISS to any future participant!

Ketevan Svanadze (sociology student, Georgia) 

Thank you for the amazing ten days! I have benefited and learned so much, I feel that I have a much better understanding of refugee law and this school has influenced my views and opinions about this topic. Many interests and ideas for future studies have been provoked in my mind during the summer school! Thank you very much! 

Anusha Ravishankar (law student, India)

I can't thank you and Marko enough for being absolutely wonderful influences on me. Prof. Lang had a great structure to her lectures. The courses that followed her lecture complimented the areas she covered. Well, it was like milk and honey. I believe that you guys will continue to inspire more and more students along the way. 

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